The university remembers 9/11 on its 21st anniversary

Katie Coen, Executive Producer

September 11, 2001 impacted millions of people in America and across the world. At Quinnipiac University, many faculty and staff members remember the day that two planes flew into the World Trade Center in New York City. The university’s Director of Veteran and Military Affairs, Jason Burke, had first hand experience that day.

“I was a pilot in the navy. I was stationed in Little Grove, Pennsylvania when the second plane hit, they locked down the base. I called my wife and told her to put on the TV and pack a bag for me because I didn’t know if I was going to be immediately deployed,” Burke said. 

Burke’s position at the university allows him to honor that day every year at 8:46 a.m., the exact time the first plane hit the North Tower. Every year, the community gathers around the flagpole on the Mount Carmel Campus Quad to raise the flag and then lower it to half-staff to honor those who lost their lives. 

Journalism Professor Ben Bogardus found his own way to honor those who worked hard to share the stories of others on 9/11. He created a podcast for the 20th anniversary that highlights journalists’ experiences reporting on that day.

“For people, a large group of the population, especially students who weren’t around, need to know how dramatic a day it was,” Bogardus said. “The sort of cliche never forget things like that. But if you weren’t around you can’t understand the shock and horror of that day.”

He believes this series of podcasts explains the hard work and dedication journalists showed as they reported the heartbreaking news. Some even put their lives at risk.

“Today, journalists are often attacked,” Bogardus said. “It’s a good way to show the selflessness that went into that day because you had journalists who were running through the danger while others were running away.”

Although Burke and Bogardus lived very different lives 21 years ago, they both came to Quinnipiac University, where they continue to make a difference for their communities by honoring those who suffered in September of 2001. This year’s graduating class will be the last to have lived through the tragic attacks, but Burke says future students will still be reminded to honor those who died.

“The parents and the relatives of those students that weren’t born, that will be here [at Quinnipiac University] will relay what happened,” Burke said. “It’s still in the media and social media as we approach that day in September each year.”